Thursday, October 28, 2010

Aromatic Pattern Art

Yesterday we continued our pattern work with a WONDERFUL art project from MathArts: Exploring Math Through Art for 3 to 6 Year Oldsby MaryAnn Kohl.

This book has an entire section on Patterns, using all different kinds of sensory explorations. I love it! We used the olfactory sense. When I came into my classroom this morning (we let the artwork dry overnight) I was really struck by how rich and wonderful it smelled. This project works best if the children color their design first (we used the block beeswax crayons -- which limits the design to 8 colors) and then brush the thinned glue over only one color at a time. If you paint the entire pattern with glue and then accidentally sprinkle an herb or spice where you don't want it, it will stick to the glue. The children paint one color at a time and then sprinkle the desired herb or spice onto that color, wherever it appears in their pattern, before moving on to the next color. The room smelled amazing! Set the paper on an art tray beforehand. I set out a wide variety of spices and showed the children how to pour a little bit into the palm of one hand, then use their fingertips to sprinkle it. Then they poured the herb or spice from their cupped palm back into the jar. The children really enjoyed sniffing each jar beforehand (oddly enough, "whiff" was one of our spelling words this week) and reading the spice jar labels to each other. There were 19 in all:
  • whole cloves
  • caraway seed
  • coriander seed
  • ground allspice
  • wasabi powder
  • paprika
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • fennel seed
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground mustard
  • celery seed
  • ground cardamom
  • chili powder
  • crushed rosemary
  • anise seed
  • marjoram leaves
  • dill weed
  • cayenne pepper

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